On Sunday night, Neil and I clinked paper cups over burgers in Edinburgh.

‘Happy weird-ass date night,’ I said.

We were doing some first-minute Christmas shopping before picking up my Mom at the airport the next morning.  I was running on nerves and chocolate after the six hour drive off the mountain.  We had an hour to shop, but I can’t shop hangry.  So, make that 40 minutes to shop.

At toy stores.  And a craft store.

Isla’s Christmas list opened like this:  Dear Santa, I’d like you to bring me these presents while I sleep.  I love Mummy and Daddy and penguins and everyone.  

She dictated a three-item list, and then said, ‘I’m finished. What do you want, Mummy?’

Maybe because her list was so short and polite, we found everything on it.  And a penguin-shaped cocktail shaker for Neil.

We then had a drink at the hotel bar.  And I actually fell asleep at the table.

The night passed without any fire alarms and we got up at stupid o’clock to pick up my Mom.

A lady and her dog ambled into the arrivals hall.

My Mom came in after her, and parked herself in between another reunion of a mother and her kid that was so sweet it made me miss Isla.

Airport hellos always get me.

So did my first coffee of the year in a festive cup.  That happened five minutes later, and it actually took me less time to drink it.

Neil found some more penguins and we took Mom to an Italian deli which I always thought was more like my Nana’s kitchen.


Airport penguins.

Mom then insisted we find a convection oven which took longer than we thought, because nobody knew what she wanted.  And then there was that time nobody would accept American dollars.  Who knew?

We did find a Christmas outfit for Isla and a bagel that was less than Mom bargained for.

We got back into the car, once we found it, and wedged ourselves between the shopping, the loud laughing freakish Hatchimal, and the olives.

It’s day three with Mom.  We’ve ordered the convection oven, and attempted to make shopping lists for Christmas cookies. I say attempted because my most-used phrase has been, ‘No, we don’t have that here.’

Pre-made cookie dough, graham crackers, fucks to give.

I swear Mom brought a suitcase full of sprinkles and the makings of a gingerbread house.  Isla is looking at the pile of sweets wondering when we’ll get to put all the stuff together.  The gingerbread house is will be more like a gingerbread shed.

We shall see what tomorrow brings.



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